BMD Staff
September 2015

In this ranking, we present information on top-rated affordable online accounting master’s degree programs available in 2015.

Earning a master’s degree in accounting is a crucial step toward a career as a certified public accountant (CPA), certified financial planner (CFP), or certified internal auditor (CIA) – and toward many advanced positions in business, for that matter. Graduate programs in accounting exist to help undergraduate finance majors earn the additional credits they need to sit for the CPA exam and other certification tests. These programs also impart valuable skills in financial analysis, management accounting, and auditing, to name a few. Online degrees offer all the same benefits that on-campus versions do, but with the added advantage of allowing you to study at home, in your own time, while continuing your day job and building your résumé for future interviews.

Methodology

Our ranking of the top 10 affordable online master’s degrees in accounting can serve as a useful starting point for your college search. To determine our ranking, we started by looking at a mix of other top ranking websites and their articles about master’s programs in accounting. Specifically, we collected information from Accounting-Degree.org, Get Educated, Online-Accounting-Degrees.net, Masters-in-Accounting.org, Best College Reviews, Master-of-Accounting.net, and TopAccountingDegrees.org. We then examined each of these rankings and cross-referenced them in order to build a new list of all the very best schools – in this case, all the colleges that were included in at least two of the above rankings. In fact, some of these online programs really distinguished themselves, showing up in as many as six or seven different top rankings! Finally, we recorded the schools’ graduate-level tuition and fees (as reported on College Navigator) and identified the 10 overall least expensive schools. The following online colleges range from about $8,500 to $11,500 a year; in other words, these are about as affordable as you can get in a master’s degree in accounting online.


 

University of Alabama Birmingham Affordable Master's Degrees in Accounting Online

UA’s online master’s degree in accounting is both affordable and highly ranked by leading publications.

 

10. University of Alabama at Birmingham

Online Master of Accounting (MAcc)

Website

Not only is the online masters degree in accounting at the University of Alabama one of the most affordable choices in the country, it’s also one of the best schools for accounting and business degrees. In fact, UAB’s stellar reputation in this area has earned it top accolades on more than half a dozen different rankings, including Get Educated, Best College Reviews, and TopAccountingDegrees.com. The university appeals to high-achieving students due to its AACSB accreditation, flexible class schedule, and internship connections with top businesses in the area. UAB is home to several unique educational experiences, including the Annual Accounting Boot Camp and the student-run “Green and Gold Fund” investment portfolio.

Tuition and Fees: $11,581/yr

For more information: University of Alabama at Birmingham

 

New England College Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Accounting

New England College’s online master’s in accounting is a 40-credit-hour program and does not require GRE or GMAT scores.

 

9. New England College

Online Masters in Accounting

Website

New England College aims to be the go-to college for busy professionals, and it delivers with its online accounting master’s degree. The 40 credit-hour program offers advanced CPA preparation coursework, in addition to preparatory classes for those who seek management accountant, internal auditor, or fraud examiner certification. NEC offers start dates every seven weeks and does not require GRE or GMAT scores as part of your application, making admission a fluid and stress-free experience for students who are occupied with work and family. And since it takes just two years to finish the degree, impatient professionals will be especially attracted to the fact that they’ll be climbing up the career ladder in no time.

Tuition and Fees: $11,235/yr

For more information: New England College

 

University of South Dakota Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Accounting

Cost Accounting, Income Tax Accounting, and other courses are among those offered in this online master’s in accounting program.

 

8. University of South Dakota

Online Master of Professional Accountancy

Website

This AACSB internationally accredited accountancy program puts the University of South Dakota among the top 5% of colleges nationwide. Get Educated, Online-Accounting-Degrees.net, and Accounting Degree Review have all lauded USD not just for its top-notch accreditation, but also for its accessible online degree option. Online courses include all the essential topics that students enjoy on campus, as well as several business prerequisite courses for those who aren’t quite up to speed. You can take Cost Accounting, Income Tax Accounting, the Legal Environment of Business, Tax Planning and Practice, and all the other classes indispensible in preparation for the notoriously difficult CPA exam.

Tuition and Fees: $10,955/yr

For more information: University of South Dakota

 

University of Maryland University College Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Accounting

UM’s online master’s in accounting is designed to prepare students to perform successfully on the CPA exam.

 

7. University of Maryland University College

Online Master of Science in Management: Accounting

Website

As one of the largest public schools in the Mid-Atlantic region with a strong reputation in a multiplicity of subject areas, the University of Maryland has plenty to offer local students. Thanks to the power of the internet, students all over the world can access its superior programs – including the online master degree in accounting – through the school’s University College. Students tackle multiple business courses as well as specialized accounting coursework, which covers auditing, income taxation, accounting policy, technology, fraud detection, and more. Most importantly, successful completion of all required courses will more than qualify you to perform successfully on the daunting CPA certification exam.

Tuition and Fees: $10,323/yr

For more information: University of Maryland University College

 

Regis University Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Accounting

Regis’ master’s in accounting online has partnered with Becker to provide discounts on study materials and review courses.

 

6. Regis University

Online Master of Science in Accounting

Website

The M.S. in accounting at Regis University hits all the must-haves for any online program. The school’s masters degree in accounting online is housed within the College for Professional Studies and includes ten classes (30 credits) in business and accounting topics. And in keeping with the goal to prepare students for the CPA exam, the college has partnered with Becker to provide students with a substantial discount on study materials and review courses. Regis is also a great choice for ambitious students; in addition to a fast-paced degree track option, you can supplement your education (and keep yourself busy!) by adding a certificate in Executive Leadership, Project Management, or Strategic Human Resources Integration.

Tuition and Fees: $10,224/yr

For more information: Regis University

 

Kaplan University Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Accounting

Kaplan’s online master’s in accounting allows specializations in audit, finance, government, or taxation.

 

5. Kaplan University

Online Master of Science in Accounting

Website

Online students will find a safe bet in Kaplan University, an affordable university with plenty to offer across a broad spectrum of degree options. Neither is Kaplan slacking when it comes to business and accounting courses – its M.S. in Accounting has earned it spots on both the Masters-in-Accounting.org and Online-Accounting-Degrees.net ranking websites. The university’s diverse program allows you to specialize in Audit, Finance, Government Accounting, or Taxation and includes exam prep in CPA, CIA, and CMA certifications. But students don’t just leave armed with the ability to take a test; the curriculum also focuses on how to conduct research, analyze data, assess risk management, and address legal issues, among other essential skills.

Tuition and Fees: $9,840/yr

For more information: Kaplan University

 

Liberty University Best Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Accounting

Liberty’s masters’ in accounting online offers electives in areas such as entrepreneurship and strategic leadership.

 

4. Liberty University

Online Master of Science in Accounting

Website

For a top accounting program with a religious bent, try Liberty University on for size. The degree’s 30-credit hour curriculum includes classes like Advanced Business Law for Accountants, Tax Research and Jurisprudence, and Financial Accounting Theory, among others. Elective courses in subjects such as Entrepreneurship and Strategic Leadership will help you customize your experience at Liberty, while the school’s Christian foundations ensure that you get more than your fair share of ethics-based training. Liberty’s program is AACSB-accredited and includes an additional distinction from the Military Times, as well as rankings on Accounting Degree Review, Best College Reviews, and others.

Tuition and Fees: $9,710/yr

For more information: Liberty University

 

Texas A&M Commerce Best Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Accounting

Areas of study in this online master’s in accounting include financial statement analysis, accounting information systems, investment planning, and more.

 

3. Texas A&M University Commerce

Online Master of Science in Accounting

Website

Whether your whole life has been accounting or you didn’t take a single business class in undergrad, Texas A&M University can help you get on track with its online accounting masters degree program. Students who don’t have a background in a relevant field can catch up with a few mandatory business courses and then join their fellow students in a two-year curriculum that includes Financial Statement Analysis, Accounting Information Systems, Investment Planning, Forensic Accounting, and more. Special topics courses, independent research opportunities, and unique practicums (in forensics, for example) can all help you build up a resume of skills that will put you ahead of graduates from other universities.

Tuition and Fees: $10,955/yr

For more information: Texas A&M University Commerce

 

Saint Leo University Best Affordable Master's Degrees in Accounting

Saint Leo’s master’s in accounting online is popular among those looking for an affordable option.

 

2. Saint Leo University

Online Master of Accounting

Website

If you’re looking for the technical skills and advanced knowledge that will prepare you equally for careers in public accounting, government agencies, and corporate work, Saint Leo University is worth a look. It’s affordable annual tuition and flexible online program lure students from all over the country, and its quality instruction doesn’t hurt either. Students in the MAcc program learn to resolve financial reporting problems for business entities, address ethical issues, protect firms from potential legal issues, analyze financial issues, and of course prepare for the CPA certification exam. Alternatively, SLU’s MBA with an Accounting Concentration leans a little more on the business side of the field and will prepare you for a broader selection of careers.

Tuition and Fees: $8,442/yr

For more information: Saint Leo University

 

Saint Joseph's College Best Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Accounting

Saint Joseph’s offers the most affordable online accounting master’s degree available anywhere.

 

1. Saint Joseph’s College

Online Accountancy MAcc

Website

At just over $8,000 per year, Saint Joseph’s College is bar-none the cheapest online accounting program available for students with discerning taste. SCJ pops up on top ranking websites like Best College Reviews, Accounting Degree Review, and Get Educated, making it quite a steal for master’s degree students in the field. Five different start dates per year and flexible online classes will give you the freedom to attend part-time or full-time while organizing school around your schedule. Once you enroll in classes, you’ll enjoy experienced educators who focus primarily on problem-based learning. This approach helps produce graduates of the online masters degree in accounting program who would be assets to any of the nation’s top firms.

Tuition and Fees: $8,246/yr

For more information: Saint Joseph’s College

Also see:

Top 10 Most Affordable AACSB Online MBA Programs

Sources:
College Navigator
Accounting Degree Review
Get Educated
Online Accounting Degree Programs
Master’s in Accounting Degrees
Best College Reviews
Top 10 Best Online Master of Accounting Degree Programs
Top 20 Master of Accounting Online Degree Programs 2015

This concludes our ranking of top-rated affordable online accounting master’s degree programs.